With so much going on in the world, it’s sometimes difficult to look ahead to 2024. The last few years have included everything from global pandemics, war and significant weather events. It doesn’t seem like the year ahead will be that different but perhaps with the added challenge of growing and burgeoning healthcare waiting lists, a challenged healthcare workforce and the ongoing problems in the world of healthcare technology of funding, interoperability and changing priorities. 

Healthcare Digital Transformation Trends for 2024 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data 

Artificial intelligence in healthcare doesn’t seem ready to go away or move over anytime soon. It seems 2024 is going to continue this trend of increasing applications of AI in health. Of course, AI means different things to different people and the very generic name doesn’t really do justice to the range of technologies involved. However, it seems 2024 will be just that and will see growth in that range of AI technologies.  

In England, data and platforms have dominated the last year of health technology but it seems that the discussion has only just started. NHS England has announced its provider for the Federated Data Platform which was the centre of much attention at HETT 2023, whether the clinical benefit gets realised remains to be seen and will no doubt be the centre of continued discussion at HETT 2024. The recognition of the role of data in AI discovered drugs and diagnostics is a driver for better quality data, safer methods of sharing data for research and technology to support the drive for Real World Evidence. 

Co-pilots for Healthcare 

The other buzz that has only continued to grow at pace has been the use of co-pilots for clinical and supporting staff across healthcare. This is where there has been much talk of large language models (LLMs) that support the back office flow and assist with non-clinical tasks, especially for those repetitive tasks. However, we are also seeing the increased use of this technology for supporting clinicians with medical knowledge to make decisions. I am expecting this to be an area where both big tech and new entrants make progress in the coming year. 

Primary Care 

Digitisation and technology have very much been the mainstay of primary care for many years. Advances in practice management systems and electronic health records were seen in primary care long before hospital services. Primary care continues to develop new ways of working and adopting technology and recent indications seem to be pointing towards tooling such automation and transcription software with a range of new technology providers. Primary care has also seen the growth of providers who connect with patients whether that’s through SMS or portals, helping to drive efficiency and the delivery of safe care avoiding traditional letters. 

Social Care 

The advent of the integrated care systems might mean that social care and health might start to come together more closely not only with commissioning arrangements but also technology. Over the last few years we have heard about initiatives such as record sharing, the use of NHS email platforms and the implementation of technology to connect care home residents with their families. In the last few years there has also been the expansion of virtual care through technology which has increasingly been seen in social care too. By HETT 2024, integrated care systems will have had some time to operate so we may hear of their developments in this area. 


The use apps and digital therapeutics has been slow in the UK and whilst the NHS has not only a library but an entire sea of apps in use, the consistent assessment, adoption and reimbursement has been problematic for all involved whether payor, provider or app developer. Signals from the NHS in England would suggest that 2024 may set the scene for some consistency in standards for the adoption of digital health products in the NHS, such as digital therapeutics. Either way, 2024 is likely to see greater citizen expectation for such products given that they are now part of many everyday consumer products such as watches and phones. 

Personalised Medicine  

The world outside the NHS is also seeing a marked shift in personalised medicine through technology in particular verticals, especially those areas that suit a digital model but are difficult to reach in the NHS, with everything from self-administered remote diagnostics through to treatments for weight loss, they are set to grow across the digital health sector in 2024. However, it’s unlikely to stop there, already there are signs of significant growth in FemTech with new startups on the horizon solving everyday problems. 

Digital Addiction Services 

The need for mental health services and digital mental health hasn’t really changed, but I expect 2024 will see the same  acceleration in neo-clinics such as digital addiction services and specific digital products that help with sleep health or assist with clinical decision making in mental health. We are already seeing new products coming to market that use voice and face recognition to better understand mental health needs, so it’ll be interesting to see if publicly funded health services take to this new and emerging technology. 

Electronic Health Records 

With all this talk of new tech, AI and voice recognition it could almost be easy to forget some of the more essential technology that the healthcare workforce needs such as electronic health records. I suspect during the next 12 months this is an area that will continue to develop. Early indications would suggest that it’s still a priority for most policy makers at the moment but then again it only takes a few leaky ceilings to divert resource in most parts of the NHS.  

Looking to the Future 

During 2024, it’s highly likely that we’ll seem more political promises across the UK in relation to healthcare and its infrastructure. Already politicians on all sides have eluded to innovation and AI but as we get closer to a general election this may become clearer. Naturally this will have some influence on the healthcare system and those in charge of planning for change. Only time will tell how many of the current health tech trends will make it as far as the next political cycle? 

Find out More About Digital Health Transformation Trends and Challenges 

Join us at HETT North on 28th February 2024 at Manchester Central Convention Complex as we bring together hundreds of digital health professionals to work towards tackling the pressing needs across the health and social care ecosystem. HETT North is free to attend for the NHS, charities and wider public sector and will give you access to:   

  • 40+ hours of CPD-certified content across 5 streams  
  • 100+ expert speakers  
  • 100+ innovative suppliers  
  • 1-2-1 networking opportunities with 1,400+ digital health peers 


Register for HETT North

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